Report acts as ‘playbook’ for gov’t. action/implementation of AI capability in helping tackle climate challenges

There is a new report: “Climate Change and AI: Recommendations for Government Action,” a joint study from the Centre for AI & Climate and Climate Change AI.

It seems quite timely, in fact, given that conditions all across the world, it would appear, have returned to what they were pre-COVID outbreak with climate matters, especially, and, to a lesser degree, artificial intelligence (AI) front-and-center matters on the minds of many.

Climate Change AI, in its Nov. 8, 2021 “Climate Change and AI: Recommendations for Government” press release had this to say: “A new report, developed by the Centre for AI & Climate and Climate Change AI for the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), calls for governments to recognise the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate the transition to net zero, and to put in place the support needed to advance AI-for-climate solutions. …”

Climate Change AI in the press release in question further explained, “AI is already being used to support climate action in a wide range of use cases, several of which the report highlights. These include:

  • National Grid ESO, which has used AI to double the accuracy of its forecasts of UK electricity demand. Radically improving forecasts of electricity demand and renewable energy generation will be critical in enabling greater proportions of renewable energy on electricity grids.
  • The UN Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), which has developed the FloodAI system that delivers high-frequency flood reports. FloodAI’s reports, which use a combination of satellite data and machine learning, have improved the response to climate-related disasters in Asia and Africa.
  • Climate TRACE, a global coalition of organizations, which has radically improved the transparency and accuracy of emissions monitoring by leveraging AI algorithms and data from more than 300 satellites and 11,000 sensors.”

In addition, report authors identify key chokepoints that are an impediment to quicker adoption, Climate Change AI in the release explained. In response, the report recommends policymakers:

  • “Improve data ecosystems in sectors critical to climate transition, including the development of digital twins in e.g. the energy sector.
  • Increase support for research, innovation, and deployment through targeted funding, infrastructure, and improved market designs.
  • Make climate change a central consideration in AI strategies to shape the responsible development of AI as a whole.
  • Support greater international collaboration and capacity building to facilitate the development and governance of AI-for-climate solutions.”

Question is are governments listening and responding accordingly?

Says Centre for AI & Climate Co-founder Peter Clutton Brock: “‘The opportunity AI offers on climate change is currently under-appreciated by governments,’” but adds, “‘[t]his report offers governments a playbook for how they can make it easier for innovators to develop AI-for-climate solutions.’”

And, Climate Change AI Chair and Co-founder and McGill University Assistant Professor and Canada CIFAR AI Chair David Rolnick brings to bear ways in which the capability can be directly applied. Rolnick submitted:

”’There are many ways that AI can be a powerful tool in enabling and accelerating climate action, from monitoring carbon stock using satellite imagery, to optimizing heating and cooling in buildings, forecasting crop yield, and helping design next-generation batteries.’”

For more, see: “Climate Change and AI: Recommendations for Government: New report highlights the potential for AI to support climate action; offers recommendations for policy makers to expedite AI-for-climate solutions,” Nov. 8, 2021 press release, at climatechange.ai

Also, for more perspective, see: “Roboticized: As we automate, are we going about it right?” a Jan. 19, 2023 Air Quality Matters post.

– Alan Kandel

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